The Russian attack on Ukraine triggered a wave of willingness to help in Germany that continues to this day. This is the result of a current study by the German Center for Integration and Migration Research (DEZIM). However, the study, which is available to the German Press Agency and is based on two representative surveys, also shows that the willingness to support refugees from Ukraine has decreased somewhat since the first days of the war.
At the beginning of March, more than one in four (27 percent) were willing to temporarily take in refugees from Ukraine in their own homes, but the proportion of those for whom this would be conceivable later fell to 17 percent.
As admirable as people's willingness to help is, it is not a permanent solution, said FDP domestic politician Stephan Thomae. "We have to establish fixed mechanisms so that the refugees are better distributed among the federal states that still have capacities," he demanded. The prerequisite for this is up-to-date, reliable data on how many refugees are staying where. According to estimates, there are currently around one million war refugees from Ukraine in Germany. There are also no exact figures because the number of those who have returned cannot be recorded immediately.
Call for a refugee summit
In addition, a refugee summit is needed to talk about a fair and sensible distribution of the accommodation and care costs between the federal and state governments, said Thomae. Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) was open to such a round this week.
Saxony-Anhalt's Interior Minister Tamara Zieschang said her state was still ready to take in refugees, but lacked support from the federal government in coping with this task. "The federal government completely misjudges the tense situation in the municipalities," said the CDU politician. He must finally implement his long-announced repatriation offensive for those who are obliged to leave the country and thereby provide relief. "We have also been waiting in vain for the promised financial relief for the federal government," she added.
Calls for a refugee summit with the federal, state and local authorities are now also coming from other federal states and from the municipal umbrella organizations. If this is not implemented in the next few days, the question of housing the estimated one million war refugees from Ukraine should come up at the prime ministers' conference scheduled for September 28th.
As the Dezim study also shows, almost every second person (47 percent) could imagine volunteering for war refugees from Ukraine in the summer. According to Dezim, in March it was still 58 percent.
Also fewer donations
The willingness to donate money for refugees from Ukraine has also fallen slightly. In March, 69 percent of those surveyed were still willing to do so. In the summer, the willingness to donate was 58 percent. However, the situation of the refugees had changed between the first survey in early March and the second survey - between the end of June and the beginning of August. While Ukraine refugees were initially entitled to care under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act, they have received basic security since June, i.e. the same benefits as Hartz IV recipients.
The survey showed that the willingness to help war refugees from Ukraine through voluntary work or private accommodation among people who have immigrated to Germany is above the average for the general population, said Dezim. According to the information, this group was slightly below average in terms of their willingness to donate money for the refugees. According to the study, this could possibly be related to the lower incomes of the immigrants.
The researchers found an above-average willingness to take in refugees from Ukraine in their own homes among people who stated that they identified with the Greens or the Left Party. According to the study, the willingness to make room for war refugees in their own four walls was below average among people who identify with the AfD or with no party.